Are You a Demas or a Gideon?
July 2, 2023
Prepare Yourself for Jesus’ Return (part 3):
Are You a Demas or a Gideon?
I want to give you an overall view of where we are and what the future holds for all of us.
I also want to inspire you with a hope and a faith that God’s got you if you will simply walk with Him!
Less than 6% of Christians have a Biblical worldview. I feel a huge responsibility to teach clearly what the Bible says about life.
Hebrews 6 mentions some of the fundamental doctrines of scripture that we should be familiar with:
Hebrews 6:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
One of the major doctrines of scripture is eternal judgment.
Sin will be judged on every level.
Believers will be judged or rewarded.
Nations will be judged.
Satan and the antiChrist will be judged.
We are living in between the age of grace and the age of divine judgment.
So because of this living in between, things are going to feel a bit awkward and strange if you compare now to the previous years of your life.
It seems as though we have turned a corner, and things are proceeding rapidly to their endgame.
Galatians 3:13-14 (MEV)
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us—as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 so that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
And in all this turmoil be aware that you are a child of God, that you have a covenant with Him where He has promised to watch over you, to direct you, to provide for you, and to use you to help others!
God can work miracles!
Expect God’s miracle-working power!
He can defy the laws of nature and physics when needed:
Noah was preserved from the flood.
Abraham was a father at 100,
Joseph was sent by God to preserve God’s people in a long famine.
Moses parted the Red Sea and delivered Israel from annihilation.
The Israelites were fed by manna in a desert for almost 40 years.
In the middle of a desert, God caused water to come out of rocks to help His thirsty people.
God enabled a little teenager named David to kill a giant who taunted the people of God, with a sling and a stone and an unwavering faith.
God fed a lady and her boy during a drought with a supply of wheat and olive oil that kept multiplying until the drought was over.
A bird fed a hungry prophet when he had no food,
God protected Daniel from hungry lions as he spent the night in a pit with them.
Three Israeli guys were saved from death when thrown into a huge fire pit without even the smell of smoke on them, and Jesus actually got in the fire with them.
Jesus fed thousands of people from a little boy’s lunch.
Matthew 14:19-21 (MEV)
Then He commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to His disciples; and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 They all ate and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21 Those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
God raised Jesus from death after 3 days of bodily decay.
And that you have the Holy Spirit in you and that you have the promises of God to stand on in faith and ask for the impossible!
And that the same God that worked miracles upon the past can work miracles today when we need them!
So, what will God do for us in these last days as things heat up? Let’s expect His power and miracles!
1 Corinthians 10:11 (MEV)
Now all these things happened to them for examples. They are written as an admonition to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come.
Seven things to consider about life today and in our immediate future:
1. The only unchangeable thing is the word of God.
Spend MORE time in the Word than you do in the news or on social media, etc…
The Word will give you stability.
Isaiah 33:6 (NKJV)
Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,
And the strength of salvation; The fear of the LORD is His treasure.
Instead of being guided by circumstances, feelings, or thoughts, you decide to let God’s Word guide your life.
This can give you great personal confidence as the world continues to unravel.
Matthew 24:35 (NKJV)
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Psalms 119:89 (NKJV)
Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.
Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV)
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Smith Wigglesworth quote about the Word of God:
Read it through; write it down; pray it in; work it out; pass it on. The Word of God changes a man until he becomes an epistle of God.
Read it, memorize it, meditate it, believe it, work it in, walk it out!
Turn off social media, news, etc. They have become mechanisms of control…
2. Great pressure is here to stay.
Luke 21:8-13 (NLT)
He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.
12 But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.
Luke 21:14-19 (NLT)
So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! 16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win your souls.
Luke 21:25-28 (AMPC)
And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring (the echo) of the tossing of the sea, 26 Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor). 28 Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near.
The pressure of what is coming can make you, or, if you do not yield to God, the pressure can break you!
Demas was a companion of the Apostle Paul in ministry and left Paul and the ministry because he was overcome by the pressure of circumstance and allowed the current cultural emphasis to pull him away from God.
2 Timothy 4:9-10 (MEV)
Diligently try to come to me soon. 10 Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
2 Timothy 4:10 – (Complete Jewish Bible)
For Demas, because he has fallen in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone off to Thessalonica
2 Timothy 4:9-10a (Wuest Expanded Translation)
Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas let me down, having set a high value upon this present age and thus has come to love it
Don’t be a Demas!
He saw the power of God as Paul was used mightily, but chose to leave it all behind him.
We will need a close fellowship with Jesus in order to thrive and to minister in the times ahead!
Learn to pray, telling God every thought, every temptation, every fear,every place of concern, every place of weakness and expect Him to answer!
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Matthew 6:33-34 (NKJV)
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Satan preys on your weakness.
1 Thessalonians 2:18 (MEV)
Therefore we wished to come to you—even I, Paul, once and again—but Satan hindered us.
— Foundations of Pentecostal Theology by The Foursquare Church, Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, et al.
“Satan” is a Hebrew word that means adversary or one who opposes. A transliteration of the Hebrew word Satan is also used in the New Testament. Satan is used 55 times in the Old and New Testaments. The term Satan illustrates his malicious and persistent attempts to hinder God’s program. As the enemy, he is opposed to everything and every person that is good. He is the adversary of both God and all humans. Peter warned the church of “… your adversary the devil…” (1 Peter 5: 8). Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church and told the saints there: “Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us” (1 Thess. 2: 18).”
Revelation 12:10 (MEV)
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying:
“Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”
1 Thessalonians 3:2-5 (MEV)
2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and minister of God and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish and comfort you with regard to your faith, 3 so that no one would be shaken by these afflictions. For you know that we are appointed to this. 4 Indeed, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it came to pass, as you well know. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to inquire about your faith, lest by some means the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor might have been in vain.
— Foundations of Pentecostal Theology by The Foursquare Church, Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, et al. https://a.co/0WcxjDM
As tempter, Satan constantly incites people to sin. Satan desires to destroy the faith of believers through temptation: “For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain” (1 Thess. 3: 5). Satan used temptation when trying to prevent Jesus from pursuing His calling: “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread’” (Matt. 4: 3). Whereas God tests individuals for their good so that they may learn and become stronger (James 1: 2-3), Satan tempts people for the purpose of destroying their faith, calling and lives.”
We must remain aware that the Holy Spirit within us is greater than any force or opposition arrayed against us!
1 John 4:1-4 (MEV)
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is already in the world. 4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
God wants us to make our inner heart life available to Him. That will protect us from Satan’s schemes.
Don’t isolate yourself; rather, insulate yourself from Satan’s enticements.
John 17:15 (MEV)
I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
Times of waiting on God quietly and seeking God by telling Him everything that bothers you will be necessary in the days ahead!
Psalms 90:8 (MEV)
You have set our iniquities before You,
even our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
Psalms 90:8 (AMP)
Our iniquities, our secret heart and its sins [which we would so like to conceal even from ourselves], You have set in the [revealing] light of Your countenance.
Psalms 91 (MEV)
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you shall find protection; His faithfulness shall be your shield and wall.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day;
6 nor of the pestilence that pursues in darkness, nor of the destruction that strikes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side
and ten thousand at your right hand,
but it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you behold
and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,veven the Most High, your dwelling,
10 there shall be no evil befall you,
neither shall any plague come near your tent;
11 for He shall give His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways.
12 They shall bear you up in their hands,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
and I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him My salvation.
Our strength is in our yieldedness to God.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (MEV)
For I know the plans that I have for you, says the LORD, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you shall call upon Me, and you shall come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You shall seek Me and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart.
Psalms 139:1-17 (MEV)
1 O LORD, You have searched me
and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I get up; You understand my thought from far off.
3 You search my path and my lying down
and are aware of all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
but behold, O LORD, You know it fully.
5 You put Yourself behind and before me, and keep Your hand on me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is lofty, and I cannot fathom it.
7 Where shall I go from Your spirit,
or where shall I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell at the end of the sea,
10 even there Your hand shall guide me,
and Your right hand shall take hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light shall be as night about me,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to You,
but the night shines as the day,
for the darkness is like light to You.
13 You brought my inner parts into being; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise you, for You made me with fear and wonder; marvelous are Your works, and You know me completely.
15 My frame was not hidden from You
when I was made in secret, and intricately put together in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw me unformed, yet in Your book all my days were written,
before any of them came into being.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them,
they are more in number than the sand;
when I awake, I am still with You.
Psalms 139:23-24 (MEV)
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
try me, and know my concerns, 24 and see if there is any rebellious way in me,
and lead me in the ancient way.
The word will release you from demonic oppression.
Open your heart to the Word, then go to God in prayer and make confessions of your challenges, worries, fears, weaknesses, and temptations.
When you do, God will clothe you with His strength and ability, just like He did with Gideon.
Judges 6:11-16 (MEV)
11 Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak tree in Ophrah belonging to Joash the Abiezrite. Gideon his son was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the LORD appeared and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, then why has all this happened to us? Where are all His miracles that our fathers told us about? They said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us out of Egypt?’ Yet now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
14 Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this strength of yours. Save Israel from the control of Midian. Have I not sent you?”
15 And he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.”
16 Then the LORD said to him, “But I will be with you, and you will strike the Midianites as one man.”
Gideon was told to tear down the altars of Baal that his father had erected in Israel, and he did.
The enemy rose up in defiance when they saw that the altars of Baal had been destroyed.
And instead of being afraid, look what happened to Gideon:
Judges 6:34 (AMP)
But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with Himself and took possession of him, and he blew a trumpet, and [the clan of] Abiezer was gathered to him.
God used 300 men under Gideon‘s leadership to defeat Israel’s enemies.
God will use you to minister life to people as we enter into this challenging time.
Your strength will be in your consecration to God!
Learn the secret of humbling yourself before God, pouring out your heart, and then expecting Him to help you!
Expose your weakness to His love, His forgiveness, and His power through His Word!
1. Do you act as though you believe God’s Word when tough things happen?
2. Do you have a close enough fellowship with Jesus that you are able to pour your heart out to Him and tell Him everything that bothers you?
3. Can you believe that, like Gideon, God can clothe you with His power, even if it seems impossible?